The expansion of the essential personnel team list to include social workers and discharge planners is crucial to focus on the unique and nonconventional logistical challenges post-disaster. Intense focus on group dynamics was essential to avoid physical and emotional burnout. Frequent and predictably scheduled face-to-face communication was also important in disseminating accurate, unadulterated information because our decision-making changed hour-to-hour immediately after Hurricane Katrina, day-to-day in the few days afterward, and week-to-week just one week post-disaster.
Obviously the financial implications are immense for our city and our institution. We are developing financial plans, a relief fund, and other resources to assist our employees who have been severely affected by the hurricane. TH
Dr. Deitelzweig and Dr. Lee work at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation, Department of Hospital-Based Internal Medicine, New Orleans. You can contact Dr. Deitelzweig by phone at (504) 842-5766; his e-mail is [email protected]